Evaporative Cooling vs. Air Conditioning
Evaporative Coolers – For Unsealed and/or Outdoor Spaces
Evaporative coolers generate their cooling by the process of water evaporation (link). When water evaporates, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air. Which is how cooling is generated.
Evaporative coolers are often not viable for indoor applications, because they generate humidity. If the space isn’t well ventilated, humidity will accumulate until it reaches dew point. Which is why evaporative coolers are often seen in factories, shops, garages, and outdoor spaces – because they have adequate ventilation in those settings.
Depending on the thickness of the cooling pads, you can expect anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees of cooling in most parts of the country. In exceptionally dry climates, like Arizona, Nevada, Etc., temperature drops of up to 35 degrees can be expected.
An evaporative cooler’s performance is directly affected by the relative humidity. The higher the humidity, the less cooling, and vice versa. Which is the other reason why spaces must be ventilated well. Because as humidity builds up, the performance of the equipment goes down. So ventilation is a must if you’re going to utilize evaporative coolers such as the Cool-Space.
Air Conditioners – For Sealed Indoor Spaces and/or Spot Cooling
How air conditioners work is entirely different, and slightly more complicated. So for clarity, the process will be greatly simplified.
Air conditioners have two separate coils, the hot coil and the cold coil. These two coils are connected to each other by a length of copper tubing. Within these coils and tubing, is a chemical being circulated by a motor that we call a compressor. This chemical’s job is to absorb and release heat. Outside of this tubing and coil system, there are two air fans that propel air through both the hot, and cold coils separately.
When the chemical in the copper line enters the cold coil, it evaporates into a gas. As it evaporates, it absorbs the heat from the air that is being drawn across the coil by one of the air fans mentioned. The air being drawn through the coil is now colder, as the chemical in the coil has absorbed the heat in the air. The colder air is then blown back out into your room.
Meanwhile, the chemical circulates, and carries the heat it absorbed to the hot coil, which is situated on the opposite side of the machine. Here, the second air fan blows air over the hot coil, which carries the heat from the chemical inside the coil, out and into a duct that directs the air outside.
As a by-product of the process taking place in the cold coil, condensation (water) is generated on the outside of the coil. Just like a glass of ice water will generate condensation on the outside of the glass. That water that is generated is then either directed to a drain if a pump is installed, or to a collection tank, in case of OceanAire portable air conditioners.